Junya Watanabe loves America. Given his workwear fascination, it's hardly surprising how much he loves Westernized dressing in general (remember the Fall/Winter 2021 dad rock tees?) but even as his Spring/Summer 2022 collection heads to the East, Watanabe serves some strong Americana flair.
As I just mentioned, Watanabe's SS22 menswear collection is steeped in Eastern influence, drawing an easygoing style from traditional Bhutanese inspiration. But, because this is Watanabe, it's a cultural mash-up, as tunics and sarouel pants are styled with New Balance sneakers and aviator sunglasses.
These are no mere Ray-Bans, though: similar to how Watanabe dug deep to fashion his partnership with niche German shoemaker Heinrich Dinkelacker, he hunted down OG eyewear company Randolph, still family-owned and operated in its Randolph, Massachusetts HQ five decades after it was founded.
It all comes back to Watanabe's adoration of heritage brands, from The North Face to Carhartt to Supreme (which is pretty young in comparison but shares a similar appreciation for tradition), combined with his love for Americana.
Most often, that manifests in blue collar chore coats and denim jeans but why shouldn't Watanabe's sunglasses fill the same niche?
Available in early February at IF New York, SSENSE, Dover Street Markets, and global COMME des GARÇONS stores, Junya Watanabe MAN's collaborative Randolph sunglasses are offered in four forms, all inspired by the eyewear preferred by fighter pilots, aviators, and other airborne adventurers — one pair is named after Amelia Earhart, for instance.
Again, it bears repeating that these shades aren't just any ol' accessory. Watanabe appreciates Randolph's attention to detail and local presence, for sure, but he also came to the company in admiration of its "jewelry-quality" craft.
For instance, two of his four sunglass designs boast 22k and 23k gold frames and several incorporate Randolph's proprietary SkyTec and SkyForce lenses, further elevating them beyond your usual daily drivers.
They also come with an exclusive laser-branded metal carrying case that pulls double duty as a mirror — all the better to see you with, my dear.